Harvard Science Book Talk: Mary Roach, in conversation with Lindsey Fitzharris, "Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law" and "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers"


Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 12:20pm

Where Online: https://www.harvard.com/event/virtual_event_mary_roach/
When October 5, 2021 @5:00PM
Organization/Sponsor Harvard Division of Science, Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store
Speaker(s) Mary Roach and Lindsey Fitzharris
Cost TICKETED: $32.00 (book included), or Pay what you can ($5 suggested)
Contact Info science_lectures@fas.harvard.edu

Join beloved science writer Mary Roach for a discussion of her latest book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law, as well as the new edition of her bestselling classic Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. She will be joined in conversation by acclaimed medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris.

ABOUT Fuzz: 
What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as New York Times bestselling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.

Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature’s lawbreakers. When it comes to "problem" wildlife, she finds, humans are more often the problem―and the solution. Fascinating, witty, and humane, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.

ABOUT Stiff:
For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They’ve tested France’s first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender confirmation surgery, cadavers have helped make history in their quiet way.

Mary Roach, called “America’s funniest science writer” (Peter Carlson, Washington Post), is the author of several best-selling works of nonfiction, including  Spook: Science Tackles the AfterlifeBonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and SexPacking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, as well as Stiff, and, most recently, Fuzz. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. Although Roach writes primarily about science, she never intended to make it her career. Roach stated in an interview with TheVerge.com, when asked what exactly got her hooked on writing about science, "To be honest, it turned out that science stories were always, consistently, the most interesting stories I was assigned to cover."

Roach has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including The Daily Show, The Colbert Report,  and NPR's "Fresh Air," and her 2009 TED talk "Ten Things You Didn't Know About Orgasm" made the organization's list of its most popular talks of all time. She reviews books for The New York Times, and was the guest editor of the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 edition. She also serves as a member of the Mars Institute's Advisory Board, as an ambassador for Mars One and an advisor for Orion magazine.

Lindsey Fitzharris is the author of The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine, which won the PEN / EO Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing, and has been translated into twenty languages. Her TV series The Curious Life and Death of … appeared recently on the Smithsonian Channel. She contributes regularly to the Wall Street JournalScientific American, and other publications, and holds a Ph.D. in the History of Science and Medicine from the University of Oxford. She lives in Britain.

For more information and videos of previous Harvard Science Book Talks, see https://science.fas.harvard.edu/book-talks.